The yield gap of global grain production: A spatial analysis

K. Neumann, P.H. Verburg, E. Stehfest, C. Müller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

247 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Global grain production has increased dramatically during the past 50 years, mainly as a consequence of intensified land management and introduction of new technologies. For the future, a strong increase in grain demand is expected, which may be fulfilled by further agricultural intensification rather than expansion of agricultural area. Little is known, however, about the global potential for intensification and its constraints. In the presented study, we analyze to what extent the available spatially explicit global biophysical and land management-related data are able to explain the yield gap of global grain production. We combined an econometric approach with spatial analysis to explore the maximum attainable yield, yield gap, and efficiencies of wheat, maize, and rice production. Results show that the actual grain yield in some regions is already approximating its maximum possible yields while other regions show large yield gaps and therefore tentative larger potential for intensification. Differences in grain production efficiencies are significantly correlated with irrigation, accessibility, market influence, agricultural labor, and slope. Results of regional analysis show, however, that the individual contribution of these factors to explaining production efficiencies strongly varies between world-regions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-326
JournalAgricultural Systems
Volume103
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Fingerprint

land management
econometrics
farm labor
grain yield
irrigation
markets
rice
wheat
corn

Keywords

  • frontier production-functions
  • land-use
  • climate-change
  • agricultural intensification
  • technical efficiency
  • crop production
  • food security
  • china
  • wheat
  • determinants

Cite this

Neumann, K. ; Verburg, P.H. ; Stehfest, E. ; Müller, C. / The yield gap of global grain production: A spatial analysis. In: Agricultural Systems. 2010 ; Vol. 103, No. 5. pp. 316-326.
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The yield gap of global grain production: A spatial analysis. / Neumann, K.; Verburg, P.H.; Stehfest, E.; Müller, C.

In: Agricultural Systems, Vol. 103, No. 5, 2010, p. 316-326.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The yield gap of global grain production: A spatial analysis

AU - Neumann, K.

AU - Verburg, P.H.

AU - Stehfest, E.

AU - Müller, C.

PY - 2010

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N2 - Global grain production has increased dramatically during the past 50 years, mainly as a consequence of intensified land management and introduction of new technologies. For the future, a strong increase in grain demand is expected, which may be fulfilled by further agricultural intensification rather than expansion of agricultural area. Little is known, however, about the global potential for intensification and its constraints. In the presented study, we analyze to what extent the available spatially explicit global biophysical and land management-related data are able to explain the yield gap of global grain production. We combined an econometric approach with spatial analysis to explore the maximum attainable yield, yield gap, and efficiencies of wheat, maize, and rice production. Results show that the actual grain yield in some regions is already approximating its maximum possible yields while other regions show large yield gaps and therefore tentative larger potential for intensification. Differences in grain production efficiencies are significantly correlated with irrigation, accessibility, market influence, agricultural labor, and slope. Results of regional analysis show, however, that the individual contribution of these factors to explaining production efficiencies strongly varies between world-regions.

AB - Global grain production has increased dramatically during the past 50 years, mainly as a consequence of intensified land management and introduction of new technologies. For the future, a strong increase in grain demand is expected, which may be fulfilled by further agricultural intensification rather than expansion of agricultural area. Little is known, however, about the global potential for intensification and its constraints. In the presented study, we analyze to what extent the available spatially explicit global biophysical and land management-related data are able to explain the yield gap of global grain production. We combined an econometric approach with spatial analysis to explore the maximum attainable yield, yield gap, and efficiencies of wheat, maize, and rice production. Results show that the actual grain yield in some regions is already approximating its maximum possible yields while other regions show large yield gaps and therefore tentative larger potential for intensification. Differences in grain production efficiencies are significantly correlated with irrigation, accessibility, market influence, agricultural labor, and slope. Results of regional analysis show, however, that the individual contribution of these factors to explaining production efficiencies strongly varies between world-regions.

KW - frontier production-functions

KW - land-use

KW - climate-change

KW - agricultural intensification

KW - technical efficiency

KW - crop production

KW - food security

KW - china

KW - wheat

KW - determinants

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